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Fascinating Women: Top International Filipina Model Hannah Locsin

Taking over Gucci, Miu Miu and international glossies, this low-key model makes her craft speak for itself.

It was the very last day of Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter ’20. I’ve met Hannah Locsin again in Paris last season but she was still new in the city and had no shows then. But that night, she casually traipsed through my hotel room in Le Marais—still in her graphic eyeliner and wild, retro-waved hair—as if she didn’t just do anything major that day. Before coming, she just walked for the Miu Miu show.

Photo by Marts Romero

That is Hannah for you. Five years in the modelling industry and you never see her brag about any of her accomplishments. Just barely two years abroad, she’s walked for Gucci in Milan, handpicked by the brand’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele himself. And since then, she’s been front and center for Gucci, walking every runway show they have and on the face of their campaigns for both beauty and fashion.

“In these campaigns, how many actually are you chosen,” I asked ‘cause she never really brings up her accolades which I find so endearing. “Ten,” she says meekly. From more than 60 models in a show, she is part of a slim ten models to grace the campaign of a major luxury house, a feat some models don’t even get to do in their tenure. Yet, here is she is letting all the brands rush in, quietly and humbly.

From no shows in Paris last season to the major Ralph & Russo show and now the Miu Miu show, Hannah’s set to have more come her way. And in between, she’s emblazoned on covers and pages of Harper’s Bazaar Kazhakstan, L’Officiel Lithuania, and Cosmopolitan UK. She may not speak it, but you just know it’s all she’s ever dreamed of.

The Humble Beginnings

I remember meeting Hannah in a fashion editorial for Metro magazine a few years back. At the time she was still in school, doing the modelling stint part time. But she was good. You can see it in her eyes that she wants it just as much as the next girl. And as a fashion editor, you know when someone is that good.

But inasmuch as she’s an industry favorite in Manila, she is one to shoot for the stars. “I decided to move because I knew if I wanted to grow as a model, I needed to go to the fashion capitals of the world,” she says leaving Manila for Paris late in 2018.

And since then, she is a force silently carving her way into the international fashion big leagues. And she has only just begun.

A Life with Insecurities

Pretty as they are, models actually go through the most self-esteem issues. In an industry when one is pitted against the other, you’re hot property when you’re only at your peak, it gets to you, and that includes Hannah. “I can’t exactly speak for everyone but I think as models, we are a bit more prone to having self-doubt issues,” she mentions.  “I find myself having a lot of moments of insecurity.”

You get hundreds of models vying for the same job and walking into a room of people who she seemingly thinks can be better than her or prettier than her, it can take a hit. But she’s learned since mastering actually a seemingly simple-sounding trick: believing in yourself. “If you listen to the negative voices in your head, you’ll constantly doubt yourself,” she mentions. “Focus on your strengths and learning to better your weaknesses.”

What is fascinating about Hannah is that you just look at her and you know she’s out on a mission to conquer runways and campaigns, but she’s having fun while she’s at it—making friends along the way, while remembering the ones who got her to where she is.

What took her there are real simple things—things we actually overlook. “You can do whatever you set your heart to,” she reminds me, a golden nugget we sometimes tend to forget. “Push yourself,” she says as her secret in growing. “Learn from your experiences,” she adds having gone through so much in just about more than a year in Paris, Milan, etc. And something that you don’t hear often she rings in, “Fail.” It was in doing so that she toughened up and looking at her walk the biggest shows in fashion, you can see in her eyes the look of a fascinating young woman, who failed so many times only to get to where she is right now—earning a place with the big leagues.

Photos Marts Romero